Sunday, 4 March 2007
The blackest hole.
When I started doing telephone counselling people said 'How can you take a suicide call? It must be so hard."
No, suicide calls are in fact the easiest of the bunch. To some extent the fact that people call at all means that they are at best ambivalent and looking for reasons not to proceed.
Next easiest are the acute calls, people in crisis. Something has happened in their life and they need immediate help.
The more difficult calls are the chronic calls, people with on-going issues who are repeat callers and almost seem not to want their issues resolved and cling to them like a security blanket.
But if you want a hard call, a call that can also nail you, the counsellor, as well, then grief calls are by far the most difficult ones to take.
Suicides callers want to be talked out of it, acute callers want resolution to their immediate problem, chronic callers need direction and short term guidance, but grief callers, where the caller is absolutely consumed with the despair, emptiness and injustice of their loss, they are the really tough ones to take.
There are no answers.